Oklahoma-grown blueberries, available from Conrad Farms in Bixby.
Confession: I have sort of a thing for good food. Surprise!
Truth is, I think about it pretty much all the time - how I could make it, how I could eat it, what I could write about it, how it greases the wheels of society.
I'm particularly passionate about the local food movement. Yeah, it's trendy, and yeah, the term "localvore" needs to take a long walk off a short pier, but I've always been a fan of food grown by people I know. My grandmother used to grow rows and rows of onions and a huge raised bed of strawberries, and my grandfather and I spent one glorious day late one summer frying apple pies made with apples we picked from the trees out back.
My dad used to grow these huge ears of sweet corn, and we'd eat them all summer long. I have a grandmother who refuses to eat store-bought fresh tomatoes, and we all talk about how a homegrown strawberry just doesn't compare to whatever those red orbs in the produce section of the supermarket are supposed to be.
See, all the local food movement is doing is helping to make our old ways hip again. Be thee not afraid.
Turnips from Jericho Farms in Mounds.
Next week is a great time to jump on grandma's old bandwagon, since it's the state's first Local Foods Week. Everyone from farmers to restaurateurs will celebrate the rich diversity of locally produced foods available in early summer and encourage the support of local farmers throughout the season, all week long. It all gets started this Sunday.
Shouting to the hilltops (there aren't many 'round here, so this news should travel far) about this exciting series of events include Gov. Brad Henry, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and Buy Fresh Buy Local of Green Country, just to name a few of the local and state organizations on fire about growing and eating locally.
The calendar of events for the week is bursting, including a screening of "Fresh," a film about organic and local foods; community garden and farm tours; a talk by raw foodist Paul Nison; Salsafest featuring Elote Cafe & Catering; and Living Kitchen Farms food and wine tastings.
Farmers' markets will conduct cooking demos, special talks from vendors and scavenger hunts for kids. Farms will host milking demonstrations, cheese-making classes, farm-table dinners and labyrinth walks. Sustainable Tulsa will be hosting its "Greening the (918)" forum with a focus on local food and sustainable agriculture.
For more Local Food Week highlights, visit The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture online.
Oklahomans are encouraged to join in the celebration by supporting farmers in their areas. You can also do your part for Local Food Week by tacking this poster to any free bulletin board space you see at your local cafe, coffeeshop or grocery store. Just for fun, print out a few menus of ideas on how to indulge in local food to pass out to hungry friends and family.
There's good eatin' ahead, friends. Don't hog it all for yourselves. Spread the word.